By the nature of their rebuild, the Ottawa Senators were never going to be as vulnerable as the veteran NHL clubs making their protected lists for the Seattle expansion draft.
Some of Ottawa’s best and brightest players didn’t have to be protected because they are in their first two professional seasons. For example, forwards like Josh Norris and Tim Stützle and defenceman Jacob Bernard-Docker were automatically protected.
And yet, there remain some intriguing names on the Senators' list of available players, from goaltenders Matt Murray and Joey Daccord to winger Evgenii Dadonov, who was brought in from the Florida Panthers last season to boost Ottawa’s power play (Determination: Fail). Journeyman defenceman Josh Brown is another possibility.
Drake Batherson, Connor Brown, Logan Brown, Nick Paul, Brady Tkachuk, Auston Watson, Colin White.
Thomas Chabot, Victor Mete, Nikita Zaitsev.
Possible Seattle targets
G Joey Daccord
My hunch is that the Senators really hope the Kraken take a pass on goaltender Daccord for one of the other Ottawa players available, but the Senators felt compelled to protect Gustavson, 23, who played so well last season when injuries hit Murray and his backup Marcus Hogberg. It might have been Daccord’s net to lose if the 24-year-old out of Arizona State had not suffered a high ankle sprain in mid-March, which kept him out for the rest of the season. Daccord, a real battler with a ton of personality, is loved by his teammates and would be a good depth addition for Seattle. Daccord comes dirt cheap with an AAV of $750,000 over the next two years. He would earn $300,000 in the minors in 2021-22. His final contract year is guaranteed at $800,000.